Thursday, March 31, 2005

Lies and deception on ten

I'm having trouble getting my head around the recent proliferation of deceptive television program promos on Network Ten.

An new episode of the Simpsons was advertised as being somewhat akin to Lost, but the episode entitled Mommie Beerest had nothing to do with Lost or being marooned on an island after a plane crash. It was about Marge becoming partners with Moe in his tavern following Homer's re-mortgaging of their home to help Moe rebuild his tavern.

A promo for an episode of Law and Order SVU stated "How far will he go to keep her quiet?", indicating a detective is up to no good to cover a secret. The episode featured no ill deed, and the detective didn't do anything to the suspect that was untoward.

Now promos for the OC touted "girl on girl action" for three weeks in a row and there is still no girl on girl action.

What is happening at Ten? Some promos are outright trying to deceive you into watching a show under false pretenses, and others just seem like the promo producers have no clue what the episode will be about.

I wonder if promotion material for TV shows comes from the producers of the same shows, and are merely re-run by unsuspecting programmers, or is there insults afoot at Channel Ten, where they think that stupid viewers won't realise they've been gypped?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

What a joke...

From this article...


IN IT’S ONGOING BATTLE with Microsoft, the European Commission is investigating the possibility that the Vole has sneakily sabotaged the Media Player-free versions of Windows it is obliged to ship to the EU.

The Commission decided last year that Microsoft was abusing its monopoly position by including its Media Player software in its Windows XP 'operating system'.

It told the software maker to ship a stripped-down version of Windows XP to countries in the European Union and slapped a mighty fine on the monopolist.

Microsoft is still appealing against the decision but has begun shipping Media Player-free versions of XP to the EU, as instructed.

A report in today’s Wall Street Journal suggests Microsoft has fiddled with the registry in its stripped-down Windows offerings and the result is that video clips embedded into Microsoft Word documents don’t run properly, for example.


What part of that is sneaky?

If MS removed Media Player from the system, then it makes total sense that media clips won't work.

You can't have it both ways, either you want the Media Player functionality there, or you don't. Make up your fscking minds...

The Mars Volta

I don't know why I like Mars Volta so much, but I do...

Tis a weird thing, their songs aren't written as such but a collection of phrases or imagery that all build to an audio Rorschach test, where one's interpretation is different from another. And I get the feeling that all interpretations could be correct...

I need to get hold of their newer album 'Frances the Mute', although not as well accepted as the brilliant concept album 'De-Loused in the Comatorium', it follows the same styles and is supposed to be a good listen.

Back to the Televators...

Monday, March 21, 2005

Let's do the timewarp again...

It's just a jump to the left
And then a step to the right...

And a step back in time.

This blog entry is coming to you from a hotel room in the city of churches, Adelaide. Sorry I didn't let you guys know but I was off sick Thursday arvo and all day Friday with a sore back and the trip was organised Friday arvo. I am here to fix a client's problem, and wouldn't you know it. it was all due to Stupid User Syndrome so the trip is nearly a waste.

But back to timewarps... When I landed in Adelaide on Sunday night I was surprised to find that when getting off the plane we had to walk across the tarmac to the terminal building.

"You're not in Kansas no more..." came to mind.

Next interesting (backward) fact, Adelaide airport has a curfew so the residents nearby don't have their sleep disturbed. The curfew is from 11 PM to 6 AM.

Next fact, they don't have freeways... the most major road they have is akin to Leach Hwy. On whilst talking roads, I must say their roads are absolute shite. Very rough and patchy.

I thought us Western Australians were a little deprived due to distance from the east coast, but I feel better now.

There is one thing Adelaide has over Perth, they have more restaurants per capita than anyt other city in Australia so finding a place to eat is very simple.

I'll be back in Perth tomorrow arvo (5 PM, Tuesday) so I'll be back in contact tomorrow evening or Wednesday morning at work.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

VB6 go bye-bye

If had to happen with .NET out in the wild and growing, but it seems to have annoyed a few people. article

But what is going to change really? How long has it been since the was a service pack or bug fix issued for VB6? It had reached a very stable point in it's development and will continue to be used extensively to support legacy code.

The only forseeable change is that large companies will not consider VB6 as an option because of the lack of product support, it will most likely push development towards .NET.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Weird Shit on eBay...

This will be the start of a new semi-regular entry in the blog. eBay is the internet's garage sale, and has some quite strange stuff for sale there.


I do notice that there are no bids currently there...

Monday, March 14, 2005

Top ten...

Here is my AudioScrobbler Weekly Artist Chart for week ending Mar 13th, 2005.

Rank - Artist - Songs Played
1 Carl Orff 26
2 Angélique Kidjo 20
3 U2 16
4 Counting Crows 13
5 Dave Matthews Band 10
5 Groove Armada 10
7 Jamiroquai 9
8 Hilltop Hoods 8
9 Ben Folds Five 7
9 Ben Folds 7

Friday, March 11, 2005

Happy Birthday...

Today is Calvin's first birthday...

The last year has just flown by, it doesn't seem like it was 12 months ago when I was at the hospital seriously sleep deprived holding on to my son.

Maybe today should be a public holiday, if only it is of limited scope :)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

And these guys run the country???

This article in the Australian has to make you wonder that we actually let these people run the country...

What an outstanding photo of Peter Costello pleasuring himself in parliament... Really, he is dancing a jig but it does look quite wrong...

Hardwired into DNA?

What has this woman been smoking/imbibing?

Most of the article is loads of gushing praise for Princess Mary but this sentence caught my attention:

"And even after decades of power feminism, the Prince Charming dream remains paramount for many young women, hard-wired into their DNA, you could say."

Rather than it being hard wired into their DNA, has the stupid woman considered the effect of Disney, et al. on the minds of young girls? Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc. These stories are read to children from a fairly young age and must leave a lasting impression.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Top Ten...

Here is my AudioScrobbler Weekly Artist Chart for week ending Mar 6th, 2005.

Rank - Artist (Songs Played)
1 Counting Crows 29
2 Angélique Kidjo 26
3 U2 19
4 Seven Mary Three 18
5 Hilltop Hoods 16
6 Jamiroquai 12
6 Coldplay 12
8 Ben Folds 11
9 The London Philharmonic Orchestra 10
10 Groove Armada 9

Friday, March 04, 2005

And they're off...

F1 for 2005 has now started. Free Practice 1 is currently in progress (1100-1200 EDT), official live timing can be found here.

My predictions for the year:
- Schumacher will be World Champion yet again
- The McLaren duo of Montoya and Raikkonen will offer some competition but will be let down by reliability issues
- Webber will reach a few podiums but won't be a championship contender
- Alonso in the Renault will win a few GPs this year
- And Villenueve will open his mouth and put his foot in it at least 4 times, before May... then again, that isn't hard to predict.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Impreza WRC2005

The debut of the new Impreza WRC2005 will be next weekend's Rally of Mexico. Let's hope the front end aero modifications help stop a repeat of last year's Argentina Rally issues.

Here are some pics of the new beast...

Click on images to enlarge...

The press release from SWRT is below:

New Subaru Impreza WRC2005 to make WRC debut in Mexico
28 February 2005

After a 12-month joint development programme involving teams at Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) in Japan and the Subaru World Rally Team (SWRT) in England, the latest evolution of the Subaru Impreza World Rally Car, the Impreza WRC2005, will make its competitive debut on 11 March at Rally Mexico.

The eagerly anticipated new model replaces the Impreza WRC2004, the car that propelled Petter Solberg to five WRC victories in the 2004 season and to another win on its final event, Rally Sweden, a fortnight ago.

With six World Rally Championship titles and 44 outright rally wins in the past 12 seasons, the Impreza has been the defining car in Subaru's elevation from road car manufacturer to legend in world rallying. From its inception in 1993, the Impreza has provided a sensory assault on motorsport fans across the globe, and the latest model, the result of more than ten years of rallying experience, will ensure the car remains at the top of the WRC throughout the current season.

Featuring a wider track, revised styling, composite body panels and a host of engine and suspension enhancements, the Impreza WRC2005 is the ultimate development of a rally car and represents a landmark in the collaboration between engineering and design teams in the UK and Japan.

Not only have the teams worked more closely than ever before but, for the first time, the Impreza WRC2005 has been styled by the design team at FHI led by chief designer of Advanced design, Andreas Zapatinas. "In terms of airflow, the team in the UK worked on a design concept, but the wind tunnel testing, evolution of the aerodynamic package and final styling was carried out by the design team at FHI," said SWRT principal David Lapworth.

"FHI designing the World Rally Car is perhaps the most visible example of the working relationship between Japan and the UK, which is bringing the road and rally car closer together all the time. As the collaboration goes from strength to strength it enables us to get involved earlier in the process of designing the road cars and gives the engineers and the stylists that are involved in the road cars, a better insight into the requirements of the rally programme."

Built to take full advantage of the FIA's revised world rally car dimensions, the Impreza WRC2005 bodyshell is wider than its predecessor by 30mm, which gives it a slightly more aggressive look in the front and rear wheel arches. Another fresh feature of the exterior styling is the carefully sculpted wheel arches, penned by the Japanese stylists, which help balance the increased track with the design of the front and rear bodywork.

"The wider track makes a significant improvement to the handling of the car, especially on tarmac," said Lapworth. "It's all about weight transfer. The track width and the centre of gravity are inter-related. In this case, making the car wider has the same effect as making it lower, which is very beneficial."

As well as being stiffer than the WRC2004, the bodyshell of the Impreza WRC2005 features more composite panels than any of its predecessors. These include new front and rear wheel arches, in addition to the front and rear bumpers.

At the front end, the layout of the radiator and turbo intercooler follows the same basic concept as before, but has been further refined. The re-styled front bumper incorporates lessons learned over the last 12 months and efficiently manages the flow of air around the front of the car and through the cooling systems.

To ensure the new car goes as well as it looks, the engine and suspension systems have been modified. Subaru's 1994cc horizontally opposed 'boxer' engine receives a wide range of performance enhancing upgrades, including a new IHI turbo-charger, new water and fuel injection systems, a lighter flywheel and a host of other lightweight components.

"The engine project is another good example of our joint collaboration," said Lapworth. "Work was split between the teams in the UK and Japan, and the result is a positive step forward. Our research and development team in the UK put a huge amount of effort into the turbo project and, in conjunction with FHI and STI, worked to develop an engine that delivers more power, torque and response. The new water injection system is able to deliver precisely the right amount of water to each of the four cylinders and is a significant improvement over the previous unit."

The Subaru six-speed electro-hydraulic gearbox, first introduced in 1999, benefits from the addition of latest-specification hydraulic components. Inside the cockpit the on-board electronics systems have been re-packaged into a number of separate modules, allowing for easier servicing during rallies.

Components in the car's suspension system have been improved and the geometry has changed to take into account the new width. To reduce flex in individual parts, the latest computer design techniques were used to improve the weight/stiffness ratio of each component, while changes to the suspension strut mountings allow for quicker camber adjustments.

Final development testing of the Impreza WRC2005 took place in Sardinia earlier this month, with driver feedback from Pasi Hagstrom, Chris Atkinson and Petter Solberg. "Behind the wheel you quickly get the feeling that it's a much better overall package than the previous model," said Solberg. "There are lots of small improvements, but I was especially impressed with the chassis development work. The car feels much better balanced and has more traction, factors which should be especially noticeable in Mexico. The engineers have made more progress with the engine too, which has better torque and throttle response. Without doubt, this car has more to deliver over the coming year, but I'm very happy with what we already have and am looking forward to taking it out in Mexico."

"We're keenly anticipating the car's debut in Mexico," said Lapworth. "The future will be bright for the Impreza WRC2005, but what's more exciting for the longer term development of the Impreza is the way our colleagues in Japan are now able to take SWRT's requirements into account even earlier in the design process. Our collaborations are mutually beneficial and all the ideas derived from the WRC activities are fed back into the road car development programme, which in turn provides the rally team with a higher level of base car on which to work. Looking to the future development of Subaru cars, with our input from the initial sketches, the mutual co-operation becomes very exciting."

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Top Ten..

Here is my AudioScrobbler Weekly Artist Chart for week ending Feb 27, 2005.

Rank - Artist (Songs Played )

1 - U2 (49)
2 - Ben Folds Five (42)
3 - Ben Folds (19)
3 - Midnight Oil (19)
5 - Coldplay (14)
6 - Dave Matthews Band (11)
7 - Jamiroquai (9)
8 - Colin Hay (5)
8 - Jet (5)
10 - Jack Johnson (4)